What a Healthy 300-Calorie Breakfast Really Looks Like

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Breakfast has a big job. It has to kick-start your metabolism, fuel your body with energy to carry you through the day, help your brain to focus and concentrate, and control your blood sugar—all while keeping you full and satisfied until lunch. That’s a tall order for a meal that is usually prepared and consumed quickly—sometimes even on the go.
Of course, some breakfasts do their jobs better than others.
For those on a weight-loss journey, registered dietitians and nutritionists say it’s best to start the morning with a healthy, well-balanced meal, ideally containing at least 15 grams of protein and no more than 300 calories. But when time is tight and you’ve already used up all of your meal-planning brainpower on lunches and dinners, it can be tough to find the time and creativity to come up with early-morning edibles that fit that criteria.
To save you from succumbing to sugary cereal or a drive-thru donut, we’ve done most of the legwork for you. Let these six healthy, hearty breakfasts designed by SparkPeople’s registered dietitian Becky Hand serve as examples of what a healthy breakfast looks like. Each combination will help you get your day off to a delicious and nutritious start, while keeping you well within your target calorie range.

Grab & Go

Energy Bar, 300 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • Grab an energy bar that contains 180 to 200 calories and at least 12 grams of protein.
  • Round out your 300-calorie breakfast with ½ cup skim milk and a small apple.

Open & Add

Chocolate-Banana Mousse, 297 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • Begin with ¾ cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt.
  • Stir in one packet of sugar-free chocolate instant breakfast mix, such as Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder drink mix.
  • Slowly stir in one to two tablespoons of skim milk until desired mousse-like texture is achieved.
  • Top with cubed banana.                                                              
Other flavor suggestions:

Vanilla powder drink mix with blueberries or strawberries
Strawberry powder drink mix with peach cubes

Hand Held

Mexican Breakfast Burrito, 300 Calories 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (28 grams) whole-wheat tortilla
  • ¼ cup canned, low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
Makes 1 serving.
  • Coat a small skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  • Sauté the beans, chili powder and cumin for two minutes.
  • Add eggs, stir quickly to combine and cook until they are set, about two minutes.
  • While eggs are cooking, heat one tortilla in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  • Fill the center of the tortilla with the egg mixture. Top with cheese and salsa.
  • To wrap, fold up bottom end of tortilla one inch, then fold in each side one inch. Roll tortilla to form a wrap.             
Note: Expand recipe and freeze for later use. Allow burritos to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap or place each in a small zip-lock bag. To reheat, microwave on high for three to four minutes.

Overnight Magic

PB & J Jar, 313 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free strawberry preserves
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries 
  • In a small bowl, stir together the oats, yogurt, water, peanut butter, vanilla and preserves.
  • Spoon into a pint-size canning jar.
  • Place sliced strawberries on top of oat mixture.
  • Cover jar with metal lid and screw on metal band.
  • Place jar in refrigerator until ready to eat. This mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Shake and Sip

Carrot Cake Shake, 287 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • ¾ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup canned carrots, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 large handful of raw spinach (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar-free cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
  • Place first eight ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Add cheesecake flavored pudding mix to desired sweetness. Blend until smooth.  
Which of these would you like to try? What are your favorite healthy meals to start the day?

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HWNHMMBRD 1/31/2019
I work mid and night shift, so breakfast is not usually an issue, but if I am forced to work a day shift, I will set up some overnight oats. I like to mix all my "wet" ingredients together and then mix in the oats. One of my favorites is banana with PBFit (powdered peanut butter). Report
LADYG67 1/31/2019
All of these sounds delish Report
AQUAGIRL08 1/31/2019
Interesting recipes. Thank you! Report
CANDY_ANNE 1/31/2019
My favorite way to eat plain nonfat Greek yogurt is to mix together:
Chobani NF plain Greek yogurt, 227g (1 cup) (120 calories, 9 carbs)
100% pumpkin- canned, 125g (52 calories, 11.5 carbs)
1 packet Truvia (0 calories, 2 carbs)
And a few dashes of Pumpkin Pie Spice seasoning Report
ROSETATTOO823 1/31/2019
These sound great but can you give more nutrition information along with the calorie count? Report
SHAYNE139 1/31/2019
Seriously? Healthy? What is healthy about processed food and sugar? Report
KITTYHAWK1949 1/31/2019
interesting ideas, I had tried an oatmeal recipe where you don't cook and refrigerate over night. I had to cook it to eat it. Report
Can't wait to try the chocolate mousse with greek yogurt and sf instant breakfast. Report
GETULLY 1/31/2019
when I travel to conferences and know that I will be in the same place I take food to make the overnight oats. So good in the morning! Report
Great ideas! Report
PRSPLACE 1/31/2019
Wow so much negativity!!! You and Chef Meg should start a club!
That said, I appreciate these recipes! Thank you for taking the time to find them and share them with us all! Let the purists eat kale!!! Report
The only problem I have with these recipes is that I am a vegetarian on a limited income trying to go vegan and these recipes use dairy products. I want to leave dairy behind as much as possible as I have gotten arthritic and dairy is a known inflammation. I drink almond milk and I use pea protein powder in smoothies. My breakfast is usually my biggest calorie intake of the day. Oatmeal, surprisingly, is my least calorie breakfast. Report
WOUBBIE 1/31/2019
Only the burrito has a substantial amount of protein; those other things would leave me ravenous an hour later. Report
CECTARR 1/31/2019
Gross Report
MARITIMER3 1/31/2019
I alternate between 2 healthy breakfasts:

A sandwich made of
2 slices Dave’s thin whole grain bread
1 egg cooked in 1 tsp olive oil
1 slice low fat swiss cheese

1/2cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup bran buds
1/2cup fresh fruit

Both give me a good start on protein and fiber and are low in salt.

PICKIE98 1/31/2019
Very little fiber, too may carbs, and mostly processed foods. I will stick to normal foods. Report
EMGERBER 1/31/2019
Some good suggestions. Report
LEANJEAN6 1/31/2019
really good info Report
ARTSPARK 1/31/2019
I am intrigued by the combinations. Doubtful about the artificial add-ins too. I might play with these. We shall see Report
There is very little REAL outside aisle food here are much too much processed crap in each of these breakfasts. Why would anyone need to add Cheesecake flavored pudding to yogurt and fruit to get a healthy breakfast? I think that big business has found a new way to market their junk. Count me out. Report
KRISZTA11 1/31/2019
The only one I like is the oats jar,
the rest has too much processed / powdered / pureed items.
I believe chewing real food adds to enjoyment and satiety. Report
DMEYER4 1/31/2019
thank you Report
FERRETLOVER1 1/31/2019
Thanks! Report
AZMOMXTWO 1/31/2019
thank you Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/31/2019
ty Report
Too many artificial ingredients! Report
LIS193 1/31/2019
Thanks Report
MSROZZIE 1/30/2019
Great smoothie recipes. Good need-to-know information! Report
RDCAGAIN10 1/30/2019
Why are most of these shakes? Report
ARNETTELEE 1/30/2019
thanks Report
-POOKIE- 1/30/2019
We have breakfast burritos 4 days a week! Report
ANHELIC 1/30/2019
Thank you Report
JANIEWWJD 1/29/2019
Thanks for all the fantastic breakfast ideas!!!! Report
Wonderful thank you Report
MOONDRAGON30 1/28/2019
thanks for the great idea. Report
NELLJONES 1/28/2019
Breakfast is the easiest meal to keep in control. Report
PWILLOW1 1/28/2019
Thanks for the ideas Report
ALUKOWSKY 1/28/2019
On weekdays when I'm in a rush to get to work, I alternate between Kellogg's All-Bran in 8 oz. of soymilk topped with strawberries, or a smoothie shake made from 8 oz. soymilk, EAS vanilla soy protein, and about 3/4 c. frozen unsweetened blueberries. Each is roughly 300 calories, and is high in both protein and fiber. On cold mornings, I might make myself a bowl of plain instant oatmeal, to which I add my own spices and maybe 1/2 c. of raisins. Report
4DOGMOM1 1/28/2019
great ideas Report
1CRAZYDOG 1/28/2019
Wow! Delivious ways to start the day!!! Report
Thanks for these Report
MNABOY 1/28/2019
Thanks Report